I’ve heard that if you do something for 21 days in a row, it becomes a habit, so a week ago, I decided that every morning for 21 days in a row, I would work out on the elliptical machine in my basement within five minutes of waking up in the hope that it will become a good daily habit. While doing my workout, I listen to Dr. David Jeremiah on YouTube. Today’s* sermon was called “Overcoming Everything With Prayer,” and it reminded me of the importance of prayer time.
I pray every day, but sometimes, it’s half-hearted. You see, I have a bad habit of sometimes putting God on the back burner while I let life get in between me and Him. That is, instead of going to a quiet place and talking with Him, giving Him all of my attention, I’ll toss up a few praises and requests while I’m doing other things. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t praise and/or petition God while we’re busy with other things; we should do that, but we must also set aside time that is devoted solely to God, time where we give Him all of our attention, without the distraction of doing something else at the same time.
I have an interesting story about praying for my stepson. He wanted to buy a car, and he had two specific models in mind: Volkswagen Jetta and Volkswagen Golf. He didn’t care which one, but it had to have a standard transmission. He told his dad that he had been scouring the newspapers and internet in search of one of these cars (one that was also affordable), and kept coming up with nothing. His dad said, “Stop looking and start praying. God will provide what you need. It might not necessarily be what you want, because what you want might not be the best thing for you, but He will give you what you need.” So the three of us began praying about finding the car that was right for him.
A couple of weeks later, while walking to his local Blockbuster to rent a video (yes, this is an old story haha), my stepson walked through an area of the plaza where folks often parked cars they were trying to sell. There were no cars for sale as he entered the plaza, but while he was inside the Blockbuster store, someone parked a VW, and taped inside the window was a for sale sign (I cannot remember which model it was, but it was one of the two he wanted). He stopped to look it over, and when he saw it had everything he wanted, he phoned the seller to inquire about the cost. He had saved up $4,500, but the seller was asking for around $8,000. He asked the seller if he would take $4,500 down and let him make payments, to which the seller replied that he would have to discuss it with his wife and would get back to him with an answer the next day.
The seller phoned him the next day to say, “My wife and I prayed about your offer, and we both feel that the Lord has put it on our hearts that we are to give you the car.” My stepson took that to mean they would accept the $4,500 as a down payment, and he’d make monthly payments on the balance, so he asked what his monthly payments would be. The seller said, “I don’t think you understand what I’m saying. We aren’t selling the car to you. We are giving it to you.” Not only did he find the car he wanted, but he got it for free! God is so good!! We’d only been praying about the car for a couple of weeks before God responded so very favourably.
But what about when we pray for something for a long time with no results? Should we give up? Nope. Unless the Lord is making it clear that the answer to a specific prayer is “no,” we should dig in and keep praying about it.
Way back when I still lived in California, I used to listen to 1050 AM, a Christian talk radio station, and one morning they were talking with a guy who ministered to the homeless and addicted in Los Angeles’ infamous Skid Row area. His organization ran a soup kitchen, and members would go out and invite these men and women in to give them a hot, nutritious meal along with some spiritual food in the form of a sermon. During one of those sermons, a vision of a woman’s name on a gravestone flashed through his mind. He had a very strong feeling that this woman had prayed a long, long time for her son to be delivered from an addiction to drugs and alcohol, and that he would receive Jesus as his saviour. He suddenly felt that her son was sitting in that audience. It hit him like a lightning bolt, he said, and he interrupted his sermon to talk about this vision. And when he mentioned the name he saw carved on that headstone, a man spoke up, saying, “That’s my mother’s name. She was always praying for me.” That man gave his life to Jesus that day. Turns out his mom had passed away about 20 years before! He went into rehab, got off the drugs, and began working with the ministry to lead others to Christ. God answered that mother’s prayers 20 years after she left this world!
My point in telling you about this is to encourage you to keep praying even when you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for, “for we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). His mom never gave up on him, she prayed until she died, and God rewarded her faith by answering her prayers so favourably.
Never give up. Don’t give up on your loved ones, yourself, or whomever/whatever you’re praying about, but most importantly, never give up on God. He won’t give up on you.
Until next time, God bless you.